A message from RIT President Bill Destler: TO: RIT students, faculty, and staff FROM: Bill Destler, President DATE: November 10, 2016 SUBJECT: The Presidential Election As President, I need to represent all of RIT, and I therefore do not express preferences for political candidates. I do feel it important, however, to represent and reinforce RIT’s shared commitment to the value of inclusive diversity. I have heard from many in our community that the result of the recent election has raised concerns from those in our minority populations, those who come from immigrant families, those from countries outside of the U.S., those in our LGBTQIA+ community, those who practice Islam, and even those in our female population about whether they should be concerned for their safety and well-being as a result of the horrific discourse that accompanied the presidential election process and some of the specific views and proposals presented. At RIT, we have treasured the diverse contributions of members of these groups to our campus community, and I want to reassure all that one of RIT’s highest priorities is to demonstrate the extraordinary value of inclusive diversity and that we will continue to respect, appreciate, and benefit from the contributions of all. Anyone who feels unsafe here should make their feelings known to me and to others in a position to address their concerns. Concerned members of our community can also take advantage of opportunities to engage in open discourse about the election in the MOSAIC Center and at tomorrow’s Grey Matter discussion. Each year, I tell prospective students that if they are afraid to immerse themselves in a community of students, staff, and faculty from widely different backgrounds, ethnicities, races, nationalities, sexual orientations, and religions, then RIT is not the place for them. I also tell them that if they are willing to fully participate in our remarkably diverse community, it will be one of the most valuable experiences of their lives. Let’s make it so.
RIT alumnus Matt Frizzell ’16 (electrical engineering technology) didn’t have cold feet (or did he?) when he proposed to his girlfriend, Josephine Kelly, on the ice Saturday night during the men’s hockey game at the Gene Polisseni Center. Frizell is currently stationed at Laughlin Air Force Base in Texas, where he's in a pilot training program. He surprised Josephine in front of nearly 2,500 Tiger fans (and she did say “Yes”). The couple’s first date was at an RIT hockey game in January 2014, where they sat with the Corner Crew.
A MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT BILL DESTLER Protecting the interests of our international community Dear RIT Students, Faculty and Staff: As many of you are aware, U.S. President Donald Trump issued several executive orders pertaining to immigration on Friday. These orders directly and immediately impact members of the RIT community. Campus leadership is carefully reviewing the details of the executive order and we are already actively responding to help students and faculty in need. RIT has long welcomed students from around the world to our campus. We currently have 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 100 countries enrolled in our university, with alumni living in 123 nations. We have advised our students from the affected countries to not leave the United States during the next 90 days as they will likely be restricted from re-entry. We also have the same advice for international faculty and staff from the listed nations who may be planning to travel outside the United States for personal or business reasons. We want to reassure the RIT international community that they are welcome members of the RIT family. The university is committed to protecting the rights and opportunities currently available to all members of our academic community. We will continue to foster an environment that promotes education, research and international collaboration. Specifically, RIT: • Will do everything within its legal powers to support our community and keep our members safe. • Outside the established requirements of the visa-sponsorship programs we participate in, the university does not provide lists or other information based on an individual’s immigration or citizenship status to external parties or authorities. • The Division of Student Affairs and the Department of Human Resources are working to ensure all necessary support is in place for individuals directly impacted. You have my assurance that we will continue to closely monitor and evaluate these developments. Cordially Yours, Bill Destler President RIT